Understanding Central Europe  book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Central Europe

ISBN 9780367885809
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
610 Pages

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Book Description

“Central Europe” is a vague and ambiguous term, more to do with outlook and a state of mind than with a firmly defined geographical region. In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Central Europeans considered themselves to be culturally part of the West, which had been politically handicapped by the Eastern Soviet bloc. More recently, and with European Union membership, Central Europeans are increasingly thinking of themselves as politically part of the West, but culturally part of the East. This book, with contributions from a large number of scholars from the region, explores the concept of “Central Europe” and a number of other political concepts from an openly Central European perspective. It considers a wide range of issues including politics, nationalism, democracy, and the impact of culture, art and history. Overall, the book casts a great deal of light on the complex nature of “Central Europe”.

Table of Contents


Making sense of Central Europe: political concepts of the region (Marcin Moskalewicz, Wojciech Przybylski)

Part I: Positioning Central Europe

1) Positioning in global hierarchies: the case of Central Europe  (Attila Mellegh)
2) Centers of Europe (Mate Zombory)
3) Creating Central Europe in Polish and Czech Samizdat  (Weronika Parafinowicz-Wertun )
4) Transition/transformation, state capture or varieties of capitalism? (Marcel Tomasek)
5) Europeanization (Michal Wenzel)

Part II: Orientalism

6) Which way east?  A conceptual misunderstanding (Adam Reichardt)
7) Problem of “Western” approach to the “East” – a need for more careful listening and better understanding (Igor Lyubashenko)
8) Poland and the East (Tomasz Zarycki)
9) The East in the Czech perspective (Radomír Sztwiertni)
10) On "East", "Central" and "Eastern" Europe: Belarus and Central European politics of identity (Aliaksei Kazharski)

Part III: Geopolitics

11) Regional geopolitics perspective of contemporary Poland: same or different with other V4 Countries? (Wojciech Kazanecki)
12) Geopolitics in the Polish national strategies  (Łukasz Medeksza)
13) Towards a sustainable Visegrad: some reflections on the future role of Central Europe in the EU (Tomáš Strážay)
14) Popular geopolitics: understanding the Central European space in the Czech Republic (Matus Halas)
15) Regional geopolitics: the case of Hungary (Attila Jakab)

Part IV: Nationalism

16) Nation: Central European context (Radoslaw Zenderowski)
17) The normative isomorphism of language, nation and state (Thomas Kamusella)
18) Nation and region in Central Europe (Bálint Varga)
19) My hero, your enemy: competing national memory cultures and symbolic politics in Central Europe (Bálint Varga)
20) The concept of "nation" in Polish educational books (Daniel Ciunajcis)
21) Narra

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Marcin Moskalewicz is a Fellow at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poland.

Wojciech Przybylski is the Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight – a magazine on Central Europe – and Chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw.